We’re all going Paleo for our health. We should eat the foods our bodies we’re designed to eat and move the way they we’re meant to, back to a time when we were eating and moving more like our ancestors, unaffected by the degenerative diseases we see in our modern culture.
To live a more Paleo lifestyle, we can avoid processed foods; our bodies are just not made to deal with that many toxins. Instead, we can eat more nutrient dense properly prepared whole foods as our ancestors did, getting the basic building blocks we need from our food rather than seeing the nutrient deficiency we get from our modern diet. And we can leave out complex or corrective exercises that might not apply to us and instead practice more natural movement before pushing for our limits.
We’ve looked at The Paleo Way Out of Our Food Pyramid Scheme and Why Changing Your Food isn’t Paleo Enough. Both share a common theme: we need to get back to basics in food and movement before we ask for our ‘ultimate cure in a pill’ or ‘super performance of a lifetime out of thin air’.
But how do we think Paleo? Can we un-think all our modern technology and advancements? Penicillin and antibiotics save us from infections and advances in surgery give us life in dire straights. We certainly can’t live without them. And when everything’s digital and instant, it’s hard to communicate properly, especially in business terms, without joining in the advances. It’s even changing the way we think in our own minds: we multitask and multi-think as a matter of course.
There’s consequences to all our digital stress: we live with as much cortisol flooding our blood as the sugar-laden foods of our processed modern diet and adrenalin fueled daily exercise sessions we push to the max. Did you know that the more cortisol you have in your blood, the less pleasure you feel? Quoting from Marc David from the Psychology of Eating in a recent seminar, it’s interesting not only in terms of our interpretation of pleasure in food: are our lives stressful? Or do we keep our bodies in a continual state of stress with sugar and interpret everything around us as stressful?
Sure, our ancestors didn’t live without stress. Unexpected things like being chased by a wild boar across the savannah, or us doing the chasing for our dinner when the roles were reversed, happened daily. But they lived in a ready, set, go world. In the modern world, we live in a ready, set world; we never ‘go’. And we hardly ever rest.
Some things you can do today to start thinking Paleo:
- Take five – digestion only happens where we’re relaxed so take time to make sure you’re body’s in digestive mode before you eat. Avoiding eating on the run or when you’re upset. Hungry or no, your body will remain upset and discomfort will result from eating until you do relax to eat your Paleo food.
- Think about your body as you move, rather than reps and sets preordained by a program in a magazine. We’re all different and daily. Feel how you move.
- Stop seeking relief but instead vitality. When was the last time you thought ‘I feel great’ rather than ‘I need a massage’?
- Practice gratitude: it makes you see that what you have is enough.
- Make time for friends, encourage a sense of community even within your apartment block or our local coffee shop
- A lot of us already hunt and gather for food in our supermarkets: aware that a lot of food isn’t what we should call food, what our grandmothers would recognize. Remain on top of label meanings, shop farmers markets for local seasonal organic where possible and ethical choices.
- Reduce stress, focus on one thing at a time. More interruptions mean more errors . Try yoga, Headspace, sitting under a tree and counting how many branches it branches into; walk barefoot Richard Gere in (Pretty Woman) –style across some fresh grass.
- Make sure each day you best utilize your time. Stress can be a good thing, motivating us to get things done all so we can have that much needed ‘me time’. But make sure there’s equal time for stress and time for calm. Mostly calm. I think we’re very much in the opposite mindset.
- Multitasking is really half or third or quarter tasking. Changing your focus and output: focus on one thing at a time and tick it off.